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Water 2016, 8(2), 40; doi:10.3390/w8020040

Modeling Climate and Management Change Impacts on Water Quality and In-Stream Processes in the Elbe River Basin

Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research, Post Box 601203, Potsdam 14412, Germany
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Yingkui Li and Michael A. Urban
Received: 14 September 2015 / Revised: 12 January 2016 / Accepted: 25 January 2016 / Published: 28 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water Resource Variability and Climate Change)
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Abstract

Eco-hydrological water quality modeling for integrated water resources management of river basins should include all necessary landscape and in-stream nutrient processes as well as possible changes in boundary conditions and driving forces for nutrient behavior in watersheds. The study aims to assess possible impacts of the changing climate (ENSEMBLES climate scenarios) and/or land use conditions on resulting river water quantity and quality in the large-scale Elbe river basin by applying a semi-distributed watershed model of intermediate complexity (SWIM) with implemented in-stream nutrient (N+P) turnover and algal growth processes. The calibration and validation results revealed the ability of SWIM to satisfactorily simulate nutrient behavior at the watershed scale. Analysis of 19 climate scenarios for the whole Elbe river basin showed a projected increase in temperature (+3 °C) and precipitation (+57 mm) on average until the end of the century, causing diverse changes in river discharge (+20%), nutrient loads (NO3-N: −5%; NH4-N: −24%; PO4-P: +5%), phytoplankton biomass (−4%) and dissolved oxygen concentration (−5%) in the watershed. In addition, some changes in land use and nutrient management were tested in order to reduce nutrient emissions to the river network. View Full-Text
Keywords: Elbe river basin; water quality modeling; in-stream processes; nutrients; SWIM; climate change impact assessment; ENSEMBLES; management change impacts Elbe river basin; water quality modeling; in-stream processes; nutrients; SWIM; climate change impact assessment; ENSEMBLES; management change impacts
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Hesse, C.; Krysanova, V. Modeling Climate and Management Change Impacts on Water Quality and In-Stream Processes in the Elbe River Basin. Water 2016, 8, 40.

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